Trailing Nelson County 36-21 early in the second half, Dan River fought back and behind a career night by sophomore running back Nasir Coles, the Wildcats scored the final 19 points of the contest to pull out a 41-36 victory on Homecoming Friday.
Turnovers proved to be drive killers in the first half for the Wildcats as Tracy Glass was picked off on his first two drives of the game.
The first one would eventually lead to the Governors taking a 7-0 lead in the first.
After the second interception, Nelson County drove into Wildcat territory before the defense caused a fumble.
That fumble would be picked up by Malcolm Groom and the all-state 400 sprinter outran everyone to the end zone as Dan River tied the game at 7 after a successful PAT by Ethan Lewis.
Dan River took their first lead of the night on the next series as Robert Carter eluded the defenders as his 50-yard punt return gave the Wildcats some momentum and a 14-7 advantage.
Momentum would flip to the Governors in the second quarter as Nelson County scored 21 unanswered points, turning a 14-7 deficit to a 28-14 lead for Nelson County.
The Wildcats made it a one-score game when Tracy Glass connected with Jorden Price on a short pass, which Price broke for a 56-yard touchdown.
After a defensive stop, the Wildcats had a chance to tie the game up just before halftime.
However, an option pitch by Glass failed and the Governors recovered the fumble as they took a 28-21 lead into halftime.
Nelson County caught the Wildcats sleeping early in the second half as Governor quarterback George Brown Jr. found a wide-open Brice Wilson downfield.
The Governors converted a fake field goal and scored two points to go up 36-21.
That would be the last points that the Dan River defense would surrender on the night.
Senior Jonathan Hairston, who started the second half at quarterback, led the Wildcats down the field and he would score from seven yards out to make it 36-28.
Dan River successfully completed an onside kick and Nasir Coles would break through the Governors’ defense, scampering 63 yards to make it a 36-34 game. The Wildcats went for two, however the conversion attempt failed.
The Wildcats would not be denied as Coles followed his blockers and burst through for his second touchdown as Dan River retook the lead at 41-36.
Nelson County drove down in the fourth quarter, getting down inside the Wildcats’ 10.
However, the Wildcats would come up with a late-game stand and forced a turnover on downs.
Glass reentered the game and the Wildcats were able to pick up several key first downs and run out the clock to move to 5-2 and 2-0 in the Dogwood District.
Nasir Coles rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, while Tracy Glass threw for 120 yards and a touchdown.
In JV football action, Dan River routed Nelson County 49-8 on Thursday.
Quarterback Ethan Biagioni threw for two touchdowns, ran in a conversion score, and had a touchdown reception thrown by TyLyric Coleman.
Coleman passed for one and caught another touchdown, while eighth grader Dorrian Griffith had a touchdown reception.
Running back Tilden Garland rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns, while Darius Dickerson had a punt return for a score.
Jakari Thomas led the defense in tackles and had a blocked punt that was recovered for a touchdown by Nai’Shaun Henry.
Dan River’s next game will be against Appomattox County.
The varsity team will be on the road on Friday night, while the JV Wildcats will host the Raiders Thursday evening.
Sophomores Rebekah Stowe and Emily McVay each finished in double digits in kills as Dan River won a five-set thriller at Chatham on Thursday evening.
The Wildcats dropped the first set 25-21, before winning `the next two 26-24 and 25-15.
Chatham stormed back to take the fourth set 25-10, however the Lady Wildcats prevailed to take the fifth set tiebreaker 15-10.
Rebekah Stowe ended the night with 11 kills and seven blocks while Emily McVay had 10 kills and nine blocks. Riley Nuckles had 32 assists and 20 digs, libero Madison Newman had 20 digs, and Jordan Vogltanz had 10 digs, three kills, and two aces.
Juniors Emily Butts (five kills, two aces) and Sky Hudgins (seven digs, two aces) also played well in the victory.
In the junior varsity contest, the Wildcats rolled over Chatham 2-0 by the scores of 25-16 and 25-12. Madison Satterfield had 13 assists and three kills while Amber Bevins had five kills.
Kaylee Atkinson had six digs and three aces, while Brittany Hicks had three kills and a pair of aces.
The Wildcats will play at Patrick County on Monday and Nelson County on Thursday. Dan River will host William Campbell on Tuesday in their annual Spiking for a Cure game.
Dan River opened their October race calendar with a trip to William Campbell High School.
The Lady Wildcats finished three points out of first place as Chatham edged Dan River 26 to 29 in the girls’ team score.
Emily Saunders took home a silver medal as she placed second overall. Alyssa McFalls, Haley Wade, and Lauren McFalls placed ninth, tenth, and eleventh respectively, while freshman Rebekah Dalton finished in the top five on the team as she was 16th.
Kaley Purdy and Grace Doss continue to improve their times.
The Wildcat boys placed third behind Altavista and Chatham as Michael Groom was the “Top Cat” with a sixth place finish. Elijah Moshenek was 15th, Dylan Alvarado placed 24th, Trey Lewis had his best finish at 29th, and Jonathan Adkins was 34th. Gates Burdette and Alvin Maldonado ran well and brought down their race times in the process.
Dan River will make up their home meet from last week as they will host on Wednesday, October 16 at Dan River Middle School.